Delta One Suites A330Neo: Still The Best American Product?
I’d been keep to check out Delta’s latest Business Class Suites offering for a while and had Delta One Suites booked a couple times for 2020 and then once in 2021 and each those times I’ve had to cancel the trips. I had originally planned to fly them on their A350, but it seemed very difficult to book. Even though I have Flightrador24 membership, the aircrafts appeared to be flying inconsistently to European routes.
On my trip to San Francisco with United Polaris, I decided to do a side-trip to Seattle to visit the Museum of Flight there, and instead of flying back to San Francisco I managed to find last minute Delta flight back to London and saving my United return for another trip!
Route: Seattle – Amsterdam
Flight No: DL142
Departure Time: 13:50
Arrival Time: 08:35
Flight Duration: Blocked at 9 hours
Aircraft: Airbus A330 NEO
Delta One Suites A330Neo Check In
I arrived at the airport 2 and half hours before
I checked in on Delta’s app the night before and even though I had my boarding pass, it indicated I should still go to check-in desks to have my documents verified.
Even though there were not many people at the SkyPriority, it seemed the lady who I went to was rather confused about the documents that needed verification. After about 5 minutes when I had to give a little nudge, to state I am just transiting through AMS, she finally managed to get back on the swing of things!
as I walked into departure area security, I have to say it was one of those rare times where you feel oh so glad you are flying Business. The regular security lines were enormous, and would have probably taken an hour. I whizzed through security in less than 10!
Boarding Delta One Suites A330Neo
Though our flight was at the gate and on-time, boarding was rather slow and just didn’t seem to flow well. I feel this is an area of weakness for many airlines! If you are going to be demanding your premium passengers get to the gate at a certain time, you should be you are actually ready to board them! Rather than having them to wonder around pointlessly fiddling their thumbs.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened in this instance. When I arrived at the lounge the indication was to take a seat but they did announce boarding will commerce shortly. It was a full 25 minutes later than Business Class passengers were about to board!
I made a conscious effort to board early so I can take some clear cabin shots, but alas this was nigh on impossible with this, and many other flights. Even when we were scanned through to the jet bridge, we were then made to wait around again!
Supposedly, they were still loading the catering, but I could not understand how that would have stopped Business Class from boarding on this particular plane when the catering trolleys would not be in your way at all!?
Eventually, were were allowed to board, and even though I was the first one, literally every other Business passenger was right behind me…
Detla’s A330 NEO has just 29 DeltaOne Suites, all in the forward cabin. This is followed by 28 Premium Select (Premium Economy) seats.
This is just a 6 month old plane so felt super fresh. The first impression I had of it walking in, was just how white and clinical it looked! It was very bright and sunny at the time of boarding so that perhaps made the cabin look even more garish..
Each Suite has 23″ wide blue leather seat which is the main recognisable element of Delta’s branding, a fairly large console table on the side, an adjustable mood map, a large 18″ High Definition Screen
There is some storage space right next to water bottle holder, other than this, the console storage area is the only place to store things..
A pillow and bedding pack is placed in each seat..
As passengers settled into their seats, the crew went around welcoming them and showing them around the seat as well as taking drinks choices. I decided to to keep it soft so opted for an orange juice, but it was not fresh!
The seat seat and lighting controls above the side console were intuitive and very responsive
The IFE screen was crisp and felt quite large for the space, but in strong sun, it was hard to escape the glares.
The amenity has changed since my last Delta flight. Instead of the hard shell mini Tumi box, you now have a recycled fabic pouch, which is all fair enough..
But the actual contents have had a slight downgrade too, you have recycled dental brush, a very flimsy pen, with a mini Alchemist hand cream and lip balm, no additional
Also placed in the Suite was a nice pair of slippers alongside the noise cancelling head.
The flap on the right hand side opens up with a mirror and remote control for the IFE
The crew also handed out some refreshing (cold) towels..
There was a Qatar Airways 777 right next to us
before take-off I had a quick wander around the cabin again captured the only free seat on this flight..
Delta One Suites A330Neo Service
We departed 40 minutes behind schedule onto a then overcast Seattle sky, however was still expecting an on-time arrival.
There was no proper menu on the flight other than this:
The rest of the menu was available via the IFE screen, but I entirely forgot to check it out!
Service began about 30 minutes after take-off, was some champagne and some olives and cheese, instead of warm nuts.. this is when the lunch choices were also taken.
What was rather odd is there was nothing provided to eat the olives/cheese with. I would have expected some kind of pick at least, but nada.
If they expected passengers to just dig in with their hands, should they not have provided some wet tissue to clean you hands with after? I tried to ask about it, but I did not see anyone until my starter arrived!
And the starter arrived with bit of soup spilled in various places!
I liked the salt and pepper shaker that’s supposed to be an engine, but equally felt it was a shame they cheapened it by making this out of paper. Surely these things are reusable and thus can just be made properly?
I made the mistake of waiting for the main, before starting on the soup and salad, because the main took a considerable amount of time to arrive..
By that point, the soup was cold but I imagine it would have been rather nice, had I tucked in straight away ! The salad was good though
I opted for the seared Beef Steak which was tender and moderately comforting food. It’s hard to go wrong with potato gratin too!
The dessert cart is now back, after pandemic related cutbacks.. I chose to skip the cheese course, and go for a chocolatey ice cream..
The cabin lighting was dimmed fairly quickly after dinner service and I decided to chill out for a while with closed doors,
While a lot of Business Class doors can feel rather flimsy, I was impressed with just how smooth and function this Suites door was. It felt rather cosy indeed to be in your very own private cocoon..
Delta One Suites Bed Setup
Delta does not provide any turn-down, so when I was ready to get some sleep. I noticed the bedding was no longer the Temperley bedding they used to provide..
Unfortunately there was no actual mattress padding, which is a shame, which it’s never as comfortable to sleep directly on the seat surface..
I only managed about 4 hours of patchy sleep and I was just awake after that to find a nice little note from cabin crew on my side console..
Delta One Suites Breakfast Service
About 2 hours to landing, I could hear the cabin crew preparing for breakfast service even though I was fairly in the middle of the cabin..
About 1 hour 20 minutes prior to landing, I was served breakfast, with a choice of either omelette or chia seed porridge, I almost always choose an omelette for an airline breakfast, so I thought I would try something different..
The porridge was served alongside some fresh fruit, pastries and some honey based dipped.
The porridge was quite nice and refreshingly different. I think it was prepared overnight and served chilled..
I had some English breakfast tea as well as some more concentrated OJ!
I was done with breakfast with a full hour still to go, and then I really just enjoyed gazing over at the sky over Europe lightening up..
The cabin was prepped for landing around 30 minutes before and we landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
I was quite excited to fly Delta again, especially being able to try out a new product I have been meaning to try out since 2020. I would have preferred to be on the 350 as that is a larger aircraft and aesthetics is slightly better. This ended up being one of those cases, where hype and expectation never quite matched with what the reality was.
Yes this is a nice product and is a true Suite. Certainly a huge improvement over Delta’s old A330, which are still flying with what is now a very outdated product. There was very little to be wowed over however. It just looks dull and unexciting. Comfort wise, in bed mode the seat can feel tight and the soft elements like bedding could really be improved here to enhance the product.
Service wise, although Kim, the CSM was lovely making an effort to introduce herself and even check up just after landing, the gentleman serving me was just slow and still oddly sloppy. There was very little enthusiasm or sense of polish about most of the service. Delta has also made some very noticeable cutback’s in both catering and amenities. Given that, I think it’s unlikely it will make it into my top 10 .
I will be reviewing United Polaris next month and also have a trip booked with American in the fall, so would be interested to compare all 3 big carriers in one year!